El Espejo Mágico de M.C. Escher
by Bruno Ernst
A woman once rang me up and said, ‘Mr. Escher, I am absolutely crazy about your work. In your print Reptiles, you have given such a striking illustration of reincarnation.’ I replied, ‘Madame, if that’s the way you see it, so be it.’” A fittingly sly comment from renowned Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898–1972), whose complex and ambiguous drawings continue to leave hasty interpretations far behind.
Long before the first computer-generated 3-D images, Escher was a master of the third dimension. His lithograph Magic Mirror dates as far back as 1946. By taking such a title for the book, mathematician Bruno Ernst stressed the enrapturing spell Escher’s work invariably casts on those who see it. Ernst visited Escher every week for a year, systematically talking through his entire oeuvre with him. Their discussions resulted in a friendship that gave Ernst intimate access to the life and conceptual world of Escher. Ernst’s account was meticulously scrutinized and made accurate by the artist himself.